House-builders collaborate for packaging research

Three of the UK’s largest house-builders – Barratt, Bellway and Taylor Wimpey – are collaborating in research to reduce packaging waste.

Three of the UK’s largest house-builders – Barratt, Bellway and Taylor Wimpey – are collaborating in research to reduce packaging waste.

This research project will apply learning from the retail sector by researching packaging waste at its manufacturing and supply source, rather than the traditional way of examining waste streams in the skip.

The project is being conducted through the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s waste & resource efficiency group, supported by Zero Waste Scotland,

Research shows that most dry mixed recyclable waste across the built environment is packaging. With a plastic packaging tax of £200 per tonne coming in April 2022, this project will seek to gain understanding of packaging flows from a combined list of the three house-builders’ top 50 suppliers.

By establishing the size of the problem, the project will guide those who work with suppliers to reduce waste. Considerations will include: where to reduce waste at source, new ways to transport materials to site, increasing recycled content within packaging, and re-using or recycling more packaging materials.

Matt Nichols, divisional director of Reconomy, who chairs the waste & resource efficiency group, said: “Homebuilders, like other operators in the built environment, are doing a lot to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. But there is still a long way to go to re-think the problem and reduce the volume of packaging waste ending up in skips on project sites.

This research project will enable us to identify where packaging waste is coming from and establish much more detail on the types of packaging waste ultimately being generated. We will use this knowledge to work with our School Partners and their supply chains to find a better way forward.”

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